While the band's appearance on Later With Jools Holland was being televised, The Arctic Monkeys were delighting their fans in the North East with a career-spanning 20-song set. There can be little doubt that the 2012/13 season has proved to be their best yet in a career which has been meteoric to say the least.
It's now less than four weeks until the third annual AIM Independent Music Awards takes place, and last night we were finally able to reveal this year's nominees. And what a fine bunch they are! Our judges have done a terrific job this year of shining a spotlight on the wealth and diversity of talent supported by the UK's thriving independent labels.
As you make your way around Emerging Icons you'll see that there's all kinds of new music to discover- but each week we like to give you a bit of help and put a few suggestions your way. These are some of the best acts and the hottest tunes we've found on Emerging Icons in the past few days and we really want you to hear them. You NEED to.
This week, 10 years ago, The Libertines released their debut album Up the Bracket and gave the British indie scene back to the youth it belonged to. This wasn't just a great collection of songs, it was a musical manifesto set out by Peter Doherty and Carl Barat that would inspire a generation and beyond.
Far from a muted epilogue, Strangeways is The Smiths turned up to 11: more heartbroken, witty, lascivious and adventurous than ever before. The explicit politicking may be absent, but this was never as central to The Smiths as the sloganeering album titles suggested: Morrissey was always more preoccupied with romantic than political malaise.
Since starting to work on the AIM Independent Music Awards a couple of years ago, it hasn't escaped my attention that every time a list of music award nominees is published, a large-scale debate and healthy amount of criticism and cynicism inevitably follows. I suspect this is because of the subjective nature of music; the concept of judging it is arguably flawed.
Does it take a controversy for an Indie novel to become a bestseller in today's crowded electronic era? Of course if your novel is provocative enough, and both the above are extremely so, it will rub many the wrong way, sufficiently enough to generate that much-needed word-of-mouth buzz, which any marketer worth his/her salt will tell you is invaluable.
It might seem like running a festival by committee is like taking up herding cats as a hobby, but in some ways it makes things much easier. Our committee is made up of grizzled veterans of the grassroots music scene, and they know what they like - so the element of democracy this approach brings can also cause a few headaches.